The Chainlink

Thinking About the Family and Friends of the Victims of Crashes

We all know things can get heated and we are all feeling the impact of cyclists being hit by cars. This year is an especially terrible year. Sometimes we will never know where the fault lies. Sometimes it is very clear e.g. DUI the motorist is at fault. 

Let's take a beat when our emotions get the best of us. Please try to refrain from language that jumps to premature judgment. I know there is also a group that believes the drivers are getting a bad rap but I will say this - that is a little harder to stomach because every day we ride, we see distracted or impaired drivers, impatient drivers that don't believe sharing the road should be a thing, or angry drivers that can potentially take that out on a cyclist that got on their last nerve. 

So if someone dies while riding their bike or walking across the street, take a long, hard pause before you start diving into what the cyclist should have done, what the intentions of the cyclist or driver area, etc. Instead, maybe it's better to focus on that we all find this devastating when someone from our community dies or is hurt. It could have been us. That is scary. We also have the terrible reality that our infrastructure has its own set of problems e.g. bike lane maintenance, bike lane obstructions, missing a bike lane or protected bike lane where one is most needed. Well done infrastructure is critical to the equation. 

I can't tell you how many tsk, tsks (targeted at the cyclist) I have read after someone dies by a right-hook. Yes, there are ways we can all ride defensively but while we are all coping with the loss, can we please refrain from the comments like "I would never have done that" or "they should have done this instead and they would be alive". Can you imagine being a parent or a friend, coming to The Chainlink and reading this after your loved one is killed? 

When you write something, take a beat and think about who could read it. Search engines do pick up on our words. Think of your potential audience. 

If I point any of this out to you and ask for sensitivity, please don't turn around to personally attack me as clueless or lacking intelligence or some other insult. I will remove you if you keep taking that stance. I don't have the kind of energy necessary to absorb the bullying behaviors of men that want to argue and put me in my place. Yes, I said it. When I am told I act like I am "high and mighty" for pointing out something that can hurt someone's feelings (direct quotation), my response isn't going to be to back down. I reconsider and give people second chances but I am not ok with personal attacks. 

The most important point is that we should channel our energy to advocacy - what can make us more safe is better infrastructure, enforcement of bike lanes, and watching out for one another. Be safe out there.

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